8 Tips on How to Stand Out at a Trade Show
Don't try to sell every product and value proposition with your exhibit. Having someone stop and stand there scratching his or her head to decipher the message is bad enough. When they finally get it and then quickly move on, it's painful. You can sell additional products, services or concepts in handouts once you get someone interested. Highlight the most important information.
6. Follow Design Rules
I asked Mel what rules designers should follow to make sure their trade show backdrop looks professional. Here are his tips:
1. The design should bleed out for pole pockets and hemming.
2. No text or logos should fall on the seam.
3. The art must be CMYK not RGB.
4. Raster images should be 100 DPI at 100%
5. For Adobe Illustrator (.ai format), all fonts must be outlined and images embedded.
6. For PDF format, make sure to use the worldwide print standard: PDF/X-1a:2001
7. Organize the Space
When designing an exhibit, it seems like you have a ten-foot canvas to play with, but not all of that space will be visible to visitors. You will probably have a table, some chairs and people in your booth. Ideally, you want to make sure that it is still clear who you are and what you do whether you have visitors milling about or not. Putting critical information or graphics "below the waist" means they won't be seen (unless the booth is completely empty and you don't want that).
Go beyond the backdrop to communicate using the rest of the space in the booth.
- Create 11x14" or larger signs with easel backs that can rest on a table. This is a good place to feature special promotions, recent updates and contests or raffles tied in with the event. But don't go crazy with a lot of words in these smaller spaces.
- Put up LCD screens that play slide shows or videos of your work. Have visuals on hand to help you answer questions from prospects.
- Table cloths or other drapes can have a large logo or other graphic. You can create a list of products or highlight your tagline.
- Many exhibits come in cases that become small tables that feature visuals on the front. For the most value and flexibility, it's best to feature your logo here.
All these pieces should work together from a branding standpoint but they can advance different products and features.